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Know a Nominee: Chad Readler to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Do you support or oppose Readler's nomination?

by Countable | 3.3.19

(Updated 3/6/19): The Senate confirmed Chad Readler to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on a 52-47 vote that was mostly along party-lines except for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who joined all Democrats in opposing the nomination.


The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Chad Readler to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals soon. Here’s what you need to know about the nominee.

Who is he?

  • Chad Readler, 46, is the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Dept. of Justice’s Civil Division, having served in that position in an acting capacity from January 2017 to September 2018. The Civil Division is DOJ’s largest litigation division and the role involves briefing and arguing cases on behalf of the U.S. government in federal courts.
  • Readler graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School and served as a law clerk for Judge Alan Eugene Norris on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • He then worked in the Columbus, Ohio office of the law firm Jones Day for 19 years as a partner in its Issues and Appeals practice group, where he argued and won cases in front of federal appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

What’s the outlook for his confirmation?

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Readler’s nomination on a party-line 12-10 vote on February 7, 2019 with Republicans voting in favor.
  • One of Murphy’s home state senators, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), has refused to signal his support for the nomination by returning a “blue slip”, but the Senate no longer allows the lack of a returned blue slip to block a judicial nomination.
  • Democrats took issue with several of Trump administration positions Readler has argued for in his role at DOJ, including his defense of the travel ban that was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court in its third iteration. He also successfully argued in favor of the president’s authority to replace the outgoing head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, and unsucessfully defended an effort to deny federal funding to sanctuary jursidictions.
  • Readler received a rating of “well qualified” from a substantial majority of the American Bar Association’s review board and a “qualified” rating from a minority of the panel.

What does it mean for the Sixth Circuit?

  • Readler’s confirmation would fill a position on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that will become vacant when Judge Deborah Cook assumes senior status once her successor is confirmed. His duty station would be in Akron, Ohio.
  • The Sixth Circuit has 16 judges ― of whom one was appointed by George H.W. Bush, three by Bill Clinton, six by George W. Bush (including Cook), two by Barack Obama, and four by Donald Trump.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock / imaginima)

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